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SBA's Lender Match Tool Helping Small Business Owners Get Financing

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

October 11, 2018

When it comes to getting financing to start, grow or expand your small business, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) typically recommends that you start with a lending institution that you already have an established relationship with. Character, credit and repayment ability are the three primary things that a lender will look at when deciding whether or not to provide you with financing. Working with a lender who already knows you and has a good idea of where you stand with regards to these criteria can help the decision-making process go faster and smoother.

But what do you do if you don’t have any kind of established relationship with a lender? What if your lender doesn’t do the type of financing you need (such as loans to start-up businesses)? What if you’re looking for the longer maturities that an SBA loan can provide, and your lender doesn’t participate with SBA? Where can you go to find lenders who might be interested in working with you?

Get Matched with a Lender

You might try SBA’s Lender Match, the SBA's online referral tool connecting small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders. Lender Match brings together small business owners and SBA lenders to help increase access to capital. The free online tool allows small business owners to fill out a quick online form, without registration, and then connects them with lenders within 48 hours. Lender Match is an improvement over the SBA’s previous LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital) system. There are now fewer, more relevant questions, and lenders are now able to better filter the referrals they are sent, resulting in more viable matches. Lenders can also now optimize their search criteria to identify specific types of borrower referrals for particular types of businesses or specialized financing. 

While using Lender Match doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get matched or be offered a loan, it’s a great tool to help small businesses find potential lenders. Lender Match also provides guidance to prospective lenders on how to be better prepared for the loan application process, so that if a lender follows up with you, you are able to put your best foot forward in applying for financing. 

Find more tips on starting and growing your small business at sba.gov.

Learn about other Financing, Banking and Capital resources for your small business or startup in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the Small Business Resources newsletter and stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Dave Lentell

Dave Lentell is the lead lender relations specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Iowa District Office. He helps coordinate SBA's small business loan programs in the state of Iowa and promotes SBA's programs to the small business community. He has been with SBA since 1993.